“I am Private Clay Anderson and tonight I burned down the home of the first girl I ever kissed. Her family were a bunch of Rebel Greybacks. Though I grew up in these Confederate swamps, I wear the blue coat of a proud Union soldier. I’m a traitorous rascal fighting against my own breed. My brothers in arms are card sharps, reprobates, drunkards, deserters from the rebel cause and hell, maybe this one too. We know every bend of this swampy, snake-infested hellhole. We drink this stagnant tea colored water like its bourbon and we stamp out Johnny Reb just like we was swatting mosquitoes. It takes an odd fellow to thrive out here in the Pocosins. I guess that makes us a whole company of odd fellows.”
This is the story of four desperate and depraved Union soldiers abandoned behind enemy lines in the swamps they once called home. They’ve done unspeakable things on their raid deep into the North Carolina Pocosins. We play to find out how they will pay for their misdeeds. The spirits of the swamp do not forget. No one may pass untested.
This will be a short game consisting of a prologue, and three to four scenes. In the prologue, each character will have the opportunity to recount their offenses and interactions during Potter’s Raid through a series of vignettes.
The remainder of the game will then focus on the difficult escape back to Union-held New Bern. Roughly one character will die during each scene, joining the ranks of the vengeful Swamp Ghosts.
As a Swamp Ghost, The player’s character becomes a restless spirit following the remaining survivors. Their goals are to compel the survivors to reflect on the horrors and atrocities of their past and to guide the living towards an untimely demise. Swamp Ghosts may impart their strengths and weaknesses on any living character by playing cards on a challenge. They may speak to any character, providing information which is sensed as an intuition or a faint whisper on the wind. They may raise the stakes in a scene by narrating additional complications in line with their character’s misdeeds and demise. For example, if your character was a robber who drowned in the swamp, your swamp ghost can complicate scenes by introducing an element of money, water, greed, suffocation, etc.
The four players will be soldiers from the First North Carolina Cavalry who took part in Potter’s Raid. They will each have a horse and a rank of either Lieutenant, Sergeant, Corporal, Private or Bugler. Though they are natives of the Confederate state of North Carolina, they are Union loyalists. Soldiers like these are rough around the edges. They are willing to kill their childhood friends, loot their neighbor’s homes and set fire to their own town halls. This personality is not a requirement, but your character fights with these men and women and is cut from a similar cloth.
Tone and Content
This story aims to emulate a grim southern gothic tale filled with moral ambiguity and sinister events stemming from poverty, alienation, crime and violence. Though focused on the American Civil War, this game will not aim to be historically accurate and won’t require prior knowledge of historical events. If the Governor of North Carolina is shot and killed but Wikipedia says he lived for another twenty years, we will stick with our revisionist history.
This story encourages you to play a morally corrupt character so expect NSFW violence, crime, language and intense situations. If anything happens in the story that you are not comfortable with, let me know and we will move away. I ask that players be considerate and respectful of one another’s boundaries.
Based on Carolina Death Crawl by Jason Morningstar
Hosted and narrated by:
Matt Massa (mmass114)
Scenes played: 3
License: Community License